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Female Vikings?





lolo69000
Could women be Vikings? Strictly speaking, they could not. The Old Norse word vikingar is exclusively applied to men, usually those who sailed from Scandinavia in groups to engage in the activities of raiding and trading in Britain, Europe and the East. But some Vikings stayed behind in these regions, and Scandinavian colonies were also established in the North Atlantic (Faroe, Iceland, Greenland).

'... a permanent population could only be established if women also made the journey ...'

Women could and did play a part in this process of settlement. Iceland, for instance, was uninhabited, and a permanent population could only be established if women also made the journey there. In regions with an established indigenous population, Viking settlers may have married local women, while some far-roving Vikings picked up female companions en route, but there is evidence that Scandinavian women reached most parts of the Viking world, from Russia in the east to Newfoundland in the west.
mathiaus
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/women_01.shtml
singh.gurjeet
Well... the side-kick did kick in the side .... Smile I hope it did not hurt much... Wink
corridor_writers
Ouch, nothing like being busted posting somebody else’s work. Smile

May I suggest quotes and a reference URL next time lolo69000.
stjbsy
Back to topic:

Yes, there were female vikings! According to the Norwegian philologist Yngvar Ustedt, who has written a renowned book about vikings (in Norwegian only), it did exist female vikings, albeit not many. Vikings were looked upon as crazy by the rest of the society, and female vikings reportedly thought they were female wolves Confused
corridor_writers
stjbsy wrote:
Back to topic:

Yes, there were female vikings! According to the Norwegian philologist Yngvar Ustedt, who has written a renowned book about vikings (in Norwegian only), it did exist female vikings, albeit not many. Vikings were looked upon as crazy by the rest of the society, and female vikings reportedly thought they were female wolves Confused


Very true. In fact there are references to female Vikings being more ferocious in battle at times than their male counterparts. All through history we can see women who have been outstanding warriors. Even though I am a guy, I would never make the assumption that men are superior at fighting. Just look at our modern day women soldiers to see the truth of this. Smile
WhistleTurning
Never never cross a scorned women, or one with blood lust either.
corridor_writers
WhistleTurning wrote:
Never never cross a scorned women, or one with blood lust either.



lol - AMEN!!!! Smile
HereticMonkey
If they weren't female Vikings, then how did they get little Vikings? More seriously, how did the fascination with women warriors arise (especially in Norse mythology, with the various warrior-goddesses and valkyries) if not due to female Vikings?

HM
liljp617
Obviously they were there. I would venture to say their life, for the most part, consisted of making babies and food.
corridor_writers
liljp617 wrote:
Obviously they were there. I would venture to say their life, for the most part, consisted of making babies and food.


And gutting those who thought that they were only good for making babies and cooking..... Wink
tijn01
Of course women could be vikings, Hard luck getting baby vikings if there were only male vikings!
medievalman26
There is a saying, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" of course there were viking women, had to be...kinda hard to make a population grow without them Very Happy
corridor_writers
I think the discussion here has made a jump from the more logical, original item of discussion, and in such a very important noun/verb combination has been left out.

So….here is my attempt and getting this derailed topic back on track. Smile

My understanding of the discussion was that we were talking about the role of a female Viking when it came to war. So the question was (as I understood it)…..Were there female Viking WARRIORS? Of course there were female Vikings….that goes without saying. But what roles or roles did these females play in the Viking society.

As I stated before, I believe that they often played the same warrior role as their male counterparts.
SonLight
There are two closely related questions raised early in this thread. First, to what extent did Viking women migrate with the Viking men? The alternative to Viking women migrating is that the men married locally when they formed new settlements. Second, of the Viking women who migrated, how many were warriors alongside the men?

There is a good article at:

http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v95/n2/full/6800695a.html

which attempts to answer the first question through genetic studies. The second question is harder to answer. Even among the men, a majority were probably colonizers, not conquerors.

Quote:
the Vikings saw themselves more as adventurers and explorers. Many were not warriors, but rather farmers, traders and family men, looking for a new and better life outside Scandinavia.


There is evidence that new outposts were often not only conquered by men, but settled by families with local wives or wives from earlier colonies:

Quote:
In line with the popular 'rape and pillage' image, settlements are often thought to have been primarily male enterprises, with a lesser role for Scandinavian females. This can be seen from cemetery evidence on the Isle of Man, where burials are mainly of Norse males, with females from the indigenous population (Cunliffe, 2001). Also, British Isles women are mentioned in old Icelandic texts concerning the founding of Iceland, indicating that the Viking explorers had acquired wives and concubines from their settlements here.


Analysis of mitochondrial and Y-chromosome markers allows us to estimate the proportion of female and male migrants. The results vary in different areas, but show that more Viking females migrated than was thought in the past:

Quote:
Admixture analysis of these populations, based on current haplotype frequencies, indicate a substantial Scandinavian input into Shetland (44%), Orkney (30%) and N+W Scottish coastal (15%) populations. Furthermore, this legacy is almost equally due to male and female settlers – a finding that may indicate that familiy units were the norm among the migrants to these areas. So, perhaps we had it wrong all these years and the vicious Viking warrior was really nothing more than a doting dad – but this does not seem to be the whole story. Other regions, specifically Iceland and the Western Isles/Isle of Skye, show a marked excess (approximately double) of Scandinavian ancestry in their Y-chromosomes relative to their maternal mtDNA heritage. It seems, in these areas, that the Viking settlement was mainly for the unattached male, who subsequently 'acquired' partners from among the local populations. The asymmetry here is suggested to be best, and most simply, explained by geography and the physical distance of the new settlements from the Scandinavian homeland. That is, those settlements closer to home, such as Shetland and Orkney, were easier to secure and, therefore, more suitable for family-based settlement.


It appears we still have a lot to learn about the details.
liorhm
As far as I know female Vikings were the supporters of the entire Viking family...does anybody know anything about that?
corridor_writers
SonLight wrote:

...
There is a good article at:
http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v95/n2/full/6800695a.html
...


Brilliant Article and dissemination of the information.

Fantastic information! THANK YOU!!!

liorhm wrote:
As far as I know female Vikings were the supporters of the entire Viking family...does anybody know anything about that?


I would recommend reading the above article posted by SonLight. It may not answer all of your questions, but it does have other references cited that may give you more information.
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